Children's toys dry outside

How to Dry Baby Clothes: All You Need to Know

Baby clothes have to be washed, which means that baby clothes have to be dried. But how do you dry baby clothes? We’ve got everything you need to know about how to dry baby clothes.

How to Dry Baby Clothes.

Most baby clothes can be tumble-dried, but if you don’t have a dryer or are trying to save electricity, perhaps you prefer to hang all your clothes to dry. Here are some tips for drying baby clothes on a clothesline.

Wipe off the clothesline before using.

A quick wipe will keep any dirt that accumulated on the line from making your clean clothes dirty.

The sun is a natural bleach.

Your white onesies will be even whiter if you hang them outdoors to dry.

The sun will fade your clothes.

The natural bleaching action of the sun has a downside when you are line drying your baby’s non-white clothes. Turn them inside out to minimize fading.

Air circulation is key to fast drying.

Circulation isn’t usually a concern outdoors, but if you’re drying your clothes indoors, boost the air movement with an electric fan.

Can You Dry Baby Clothes in the Dryer?

Most baby clothes will hold up just fine in the dryer, so if you have one and want to use it, tumble on! Here are a few things to know about how to dry baby clothes in the dryer:

  • They might take longer than adult clothes!

You might expect tiny baby outfits to require less time in the dryer than adult clothes, but the reduced surface area means they can take more time! Plan your laundry sessions accordingly.

  • Keep the heat low.

High heat can damage the elastic that makes baby clothes so comfy and stretchy. Low heat in the dryer is the way to go.

Can you dry baby clothes with dryer sheets?

When washing and drying baby clothes, avoid laundry additives like fabric softener or dryer sheets. They can affect the flame-retardant properties of children’s pajamas. Ivory Snow baby detergent has safe ingredients that are easier on your baby’s skin, and still fight tough stains.

If you want to reduce static and wrinkles in your baby’s laundry, you can use a wool dryer ball as a chemical-free alternative to dryer sheets.

Freshly washed white clothes are drying

What Setting Do You Use to Dry Baby Clothes?

Your dryer may have many specific settings, or it might have just a simple high/medium/low temperature setting. Whether you’re drying baby clothes or your own laundry, here are the types of clothing best suited to each heat setting:

  • High heat: Towels, jeans, and other heavy-duty cotton items

  • Medium heat: T-shirts and other basics

  • Low heat: Leggings, activewear, and other stretchy items

Delicate and knit items are best hung or laid flat to dry.

Most baby clothes will fall into the “stretchy” category and should thus be dried on low heat. As always, the care label on each individual piece of clothing is the best source of information about what that garment can handle.

How to Dry Baby Clothes Without Shrinking?

Shrinking is not something you need to worry about with most baby clothes. This is for two reasons: 1. Baby clothes are often made of comfy materials that will stretch to fit your child; and 2. Babies outgrow their clothes every few months, so there’s simply not a lot of opportunity for shrinkage.

But if you’re concerned about shrinking clothes for baby or even yourself, just remember that heat is the cause of shrinking clothes. Wash in cold water and dry with low or no heat and shrinking won’t be an issue.

Washing Tips from Ivory Snow

Now you might know all you need to know about how to dry baby clothes, but what about washing?

Washing baby clothes isn’t really any more complex than drying baby clothes—just follow the instructions on your garment’s care label, and you’ll be fine. Generally, a wash with cold water on the gentle or delicate cycle, a baby-friendly detergent, and tumble-drying with low heat will be a good washing routine for most baby clothes. (Cloth diapers are always the exception; they require a special washing routine.)

For more tips and info, check out our complete guide to washing baby clothes.

Like any routine involving a baby, washing and drying baby clothes can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. However, with just a bit of preparation (and some help from Ivory Snow Detergent), you can keep those itty-bitty clothes clean and dry. (Folding, however, is an entirely different matter!)